Submitted: October 14, 2019
from United States District Court for the Southern District
of Iowa - Davenport.
LOKEN, SHEPHERD, and STRAS, Circuit Judges.
Devon Lillybridge pleaded guilty to a felon-in-possession
charge, served his forty five month prison sentence, and
began a three year term of supervised release in November
2017. On May 10, 2018, police officer Kory Griffin responded
to a 911 domestic disturbance call at the apartment of S.F.
in Davenport, Iowa. Based on what S.F. reported to Officer
Griffin, Lillybridge was charged in state court with domestic
abuse simple assault, and the Probation Office moved to
revoke supervised release based on the May 10 incident. The
state assault charges were dismissed in September 2018. A
revocation hearing was held on November 27. The primary
witnesses were Officer Griffin for the government and S.F.
for the defense. After hearing the testimony and argument,
the district court found that S.F.'s hearing testimony
was not credible, revoked Lillybridge's supervised
release, and sentenced him to eight months imprisonment
followed by fifteen months supervised release. Lillybridge
appeals the finding of a supervised release violation and
further argues the revocation sentence is substantively
unreasonable. We affirm.
hearing, Officer Griffin testified that he met with S.F. in
responding to the domestic disturbance call. S.F. said she
was assaulted by Lillybridge, her boyfriend, during an
argument at her apartment some six weeks after their child
was born. The apartment was in disarray. S.F. said
Lillybridge threw her on the bed, put his hands on her neck,
and hit her twice in the head with a closed fist. Lillybridge
also broke her son's cell phone, punched a hole in the
ceiling with the TV, and took her car keys and her work and
personal cell phones when he left. Griffin noted scratches on
S.F.'s arm. S.F. said she did not want Lillybridge to go
to jail but expressed great concern that her cell phones be
returned or her job would be in jeopardy. Griffin contacted
Lillybridge, who denied taking the phones. The next day, S.F.
called the police station to report Lillybridge had returned
the phones. Griffin acknowledged that Lillybridge was charged
with simple domestic assault, a misdemeanor, because S.F. was
not injured. The government introduced twelve photos of the
scene: the son's broken cell phone, a broken picture
frame, the hole in the ceiling, the TV that caused the hole
with ceiling dust on one corner, disarray in the bedroom
including an overturned wax heater, two photos of the
scratches on S.F.'s arm, and a broken child's toy
found in the dumpster.
testified that she called 911 on May 10 and met with Griffin
after her argument with Lillybridge. S.F. acknowledged
accusing Lillybridge of the violent conduct to which Griffin
had testified, but testified that the accusations were false
"to make him hurt as much as I was hurting at that
moment." S.F. testified that Lillybridge did not choke
or punch her, and that she suffered the scratches on her arm
at work. The damage to her son's phone was caused when
she knocked it out of his hand throwing Lillybridge's
heavy tote into the hallway along with his other belongings.
S.F. said she broke the picture frame and caused the hole in
the ceiling when she lifted the TV. Lillybridge left with her
phone to call for a ride, not to prevent her from calling the
police as she told Griffin, and she found her missing car
keys in the yard. Lillybridge brought her phones back when he
returned that evening for his belongings.
hearing arguments of counsel, the district court stated that
it must review "two different versions of events . . .
and so I look at the kind of corroborating details that
support each of those stories and I look at the
defendant's history and characteristics and I look at
other things to help me figure out what happened." In
finding that S.F. was not credible, the court noted:
-The photo of the son's phone showed damage that
"doesn't happen when you drop a cell phone."
-It was not credible that S.F. caused the hole in the
- It did not make sense that Lillybridge would throw
S.F.'s car keys in the yard and take her two cell phones
if there was no assault.
- Victims often retract in domestic abuse situations.
- Lillybridge's PSR stated that he assaulted another
woman who kicked him out of her house.
on the finding that S.F. was not credible in recanting the
accusations she made to Griffin, and that Griffin credibly
testified to conduct by Lillybridge warranting revocation,
the district court revoked supervised release. The advisory
guidelines range for this Grade C new law violation was six
to twelve months imprisonment. Weighing Lillybridge's
extensive history of violent offenses and repeated failure to
do well on ...